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More Variegated Plants


By AndrewR


Not to be outdone by spritz, here are some more variegated plants to brighten the winter days.

Like the plain green version, buxus sempervirens ‘Marginata’ can be topiarised. This was planted ten years ago and is lightly clipped a couple of times a year to keep it two and a half feet high

This is a variegated sedge, carex morrowii ‘Variegata’. It grows quite happily in light shade and ‘flowers’ in spring. If the leaves look tatty by the end of winter, it can be cut to the ground and soon regrows to about eighteen inches

I am coming to appreciate the euonymus family more and more. Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ is growing right under a flowering cherry and would climb the trunk if I let it

Euonymus japonicus ‘Microphyllus Variegatus’ forms a neat little bush. This is now twelve years and old and is still only a foot tall

Euonymus japonicus ‘Susan’ is taller and has had to cope with some poor growing conditions but still comes up smiling

This is my favourite holly, ilex aquifolium ‘Handsworth New Silver’. Not only do you get variegated leaves, it also has purple stems. Being a female, it carries berries provided there is a male nearby

I am not sure whether leucothoe fontanesiana ‘Rainbow’ counts as variegated or not. Anyway, it is an evergreen shrub for shade with leaves marked cream and pink – the colours exactly match the flowers and stems of our native primrose

Pittosporum ‘Garnettii’ is a foliage shrub par excellence, growing naturally into a cone some fifteen feet high. I am trying to persuade a dark-flowered viticella clematis to grow over it

Here is a variegated form of the common sage, salvia officinalis ‘Icterina’. There is also a form with green, cream and pink leaves (‘Tricolor’) but that is the least hardy form and I can generally only get it though two or three winters before having to replace it

Vinca minor ‘Argenteovariegata’ is a good little ground-cover plant for shade. It carries violet-blue flowers in spring and can cope with heavy clay

And a sun-lover to finish with, yucca gloriosa ‘Variegata’ requires a well-drained soil that holds some moisture without getting waterlogged. The leaves have viciously sharp points. If it is going to flower, it does so in October or November (the flower spike takes a month to grow up and open the buds) so often gets beaten by the weather

Who needs flowers with leaves like this?

More blog posts by AndrewR

Previous post: Flowers to welcome 2009

Next post: Spring is on the way



Nice variegated tour Andrew. I do like variegated plants, as they provide interest even when not in flower/berry.
Thank You!

7 Jan, 2009


Lovely tour and great photos. Very informative, as usual.

7 Jan, 2009


Great blog Andrew, really enjoyed the pictures and as ever also very informative. thanks for the cutting back info on the Carex, as i have one and was wondering about this, as it is all getting a bit scraggly and dragged down by the huge worm population lol - is now a good time for cutting back, or best to wait a few more weeks? love the variety of Leucothoe, i have the more common one, which is mainly green with coppery colour tips, red new growth and changes in the autumn, unfortunately have had to give it a good hair cut due to that rust problem i have been moaning about. hoping it will be back with avengance in the spring. if not i may just look out for L 'Rainbow' instead.

7 Jan, 2009


majeek - I cut back the carex as part of the spring tidy-up. Still plenty of time for bad weather yet :-(
Leucothoe - I discovered last year these should only be cut back or pruned when dormant, else they go into a terminal decline

7 Jan, 2009


Super Blog Andrew.
Some Box in parts of the U.K seem to have suffered from 'Box blight' over the last few years. Luckily we seem to have escaped but apparently its bad in some parts of the country.We stick with tradition and wait until 'Derby day' before we give our Box their first summer haircut.This old tradition makes sense as it allows the new tender growth to set and harden off, then then have another autumn trim to keep them in shape for the winter.

7 Jan, 2009


oopps! i did it a few weeks ago when we had that mild spell, so would say dormant, ofcourse we have had the cold weather since, would normally do this early spring but had no choice really, was covered in rust, along with a couple of other evergreens in this bed, so cut back all the damage and treated it with fungicide. thought this was the best course of action. would you have left it till spring Andrew? thing is this bed is closely planted, did'nt want it to get onto anything else, rust has been a real problem for me last year, i am guessing due to the damp summer we had.

7 Jan, 2009


Good blog, i'm tempted to put all my variegated/winter intrest plants on.
When is Derby day Grenville?

7 Jan, 2009


Go for it, Trees, we'd like to see them!

Thanks Andrew, for the follow-up. As usual, you have - something I can't grow - I look at the Leucothoe family with envy as they are acid-lovers again, aren't they?

7 Jan, 2009


majeek - cutting back the leucothoe in late autumn or early winter should be fine, it's doing it while it's in active growth that causes problems. If it dies, blame it on the weather!
spritz - yes, sadly the leucothoe needs acid soil. But then you can grow helleborus niger which likes alkaline conditions and I can't

7 Jan, 2009


You should see the poor plant today, Andrew! Are yours looking sorry for themselves? Hellebores, I mean?

7 Jan, 2009


Well done, Andrewr.
Great blog as usual :o)
I especially like the holly.
Is that one very rare and difficult to acquire ?

7 Jan, 2009


spritz - my hellebores seem OK but last night was not nearly as cold here as many places - 'only' -3C I think. My H.niger is OK but no sign of any flowers but at least it's still alive - quite an achievement for me!

TT - no, it's quite a common one. Any decent Garden Centre should be able to get hold of it for you

7 Jan, 2009


Lovely pictures and very informative. Thanks for posting this Andrew.

7 Jan, 2009


Lol, yes or the rust problem, glad you said that, would'nt want to loose it, given the choice, it is a lovely plant, but if worst comes to worst i could always replace it with a more unusual variety like the one you have here, lol

7 Jan, 2009


Think my Hellebores have moved house without my permission,great blog and so many pics I am able to recognize and therefore name even more of my own selection,many thanks.......

8 Jan, 2009


Thanks for showing all these plants . I can now name two of mine that I didn't know. - Euonymus japonicus Microphyllus variegatus, and Buxus sempervirens marginata. I also have two Leucothes - the one in the ground is still greenish but the one in a pot is a deep red colour. They're both the same plant.

8 Jan, 2009


Hywel, could this be due to soil? what soil do you have in the pot, and do you know the PH of your garden soil? i have gotten really into this recently. the change in colour could be due to soil PH, Leucothes like soil on the acid side.

8 Jan, 2009


The soil in the pot is compost I bought in a garden centre.
In the garden it is new topsoil I bought last summer. I don't know the ph
I may try and find out .

8 Jan, 2009


if multi purpose compost in the pot, you really need to re-pot it in the spring and use ericaous compost (not sure if spelt right lol) - but it is the stuff used for Rhododendrons. you can also give it a feed with sequestrine in feb, this will help. and i got a PH testing kit for about 80p the other day from B & Q, they are really easy to use. and very worth while, i have never done one before, always taken the trial and error approach with plants - i have know the basics since my floristy college 10 years ago, but never looked into it all that closely- all far to technical for me lol. but now that i have started to look into it a bit more, it is not as difficult and techincal that i thought. and lots of things that have miffed me before are making much more sense. I did a blog about all of this yesterday, have a read Hywel, you might find this of interest. But if you have used multipurpose compost in the pot and the colouring is so different chances are that your garden soil is a bit on the acidic side. if you have the plan leaf green one, that has a copper coloured new growth, which is the one i have, usually they are mostly green this time of year.

8 Jan, 2009


Thanks Andrew for your tour of your evergreen plants, loved your blog, and photo's.

8 Jan, 2009


nice i two like variegated plants see if you like these types pof plants

26 Aug, 2010

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